Sunday, October 16, 2011

HOW THE BREAD IS BLESSED - GET IT RIGHT

It's not blessed unless you have given thanks for it; it is blessed BY giving thanks to God for it. John 6:11 says, "Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted." This miracle is recorded in all four gospels. Compare it with the Matthew 14 account Says, "...looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food."  One account says Jesus blessed the bread and the other account says He gave thanks for it.

If you compare this thanks/bless language in the Gospel accounts with another passage in 1 Timothy 4 that says, "4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude (giving thanks); 5 for it is sanctified (i.e. made holy, blessed) by means of the word of God and prayer" and also compare with 1 Corinthians 14 that says, "16 Otherwise if you BLESS in the spirit only, how will the one who fills the place of the ungifted say the “Amen” at your giving of THANKS, since he does not know what you are saying?", it's becomes apparent that food is blessed or sanctified by giving thanks for it in prayer.

When you lead the Lord's Supper and ask God to "bless the bread", you don't even know what you are asking. It is the eating of the bread that is blessed when you, the prayer leader, give thanks for it. Again, compare the Scripture in Mt 26:26 that says Jesus blessed the bread and the passage in Luke 22:19 that says Jesus gave thanks for the bread.  It is blessed by God when you thank Him for it.

Our Catholic friends are misled to think that the bread and cup are blessed to become literal body and blood of Christ. It's a major error without any Biblical support. And our worship leaders have adopted the language by asking God to "bless the bread and cup" and the congregation has no clue what is being asked of God. So let's get this right. Before you eat and drink the emblems, be sure to give thanks for them and the eating and drinking will be blessed by the Lord.

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